The Pau Costa Foundation participates in the project Facing the Fire, whose main objective is to involve citizens in the problem of forest fires and, in this way, transfer scientific-technical knowledge and civic values to the population through pedagogical strategies based on Service Learning.
'Plantando Cara al Fuego' is a project supported by the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT) within the line of action related to education and scientific vocations. This project addresses the problem of forest fires, from the point of view of environmental education, the training of students of different educational levels and social awareness about the importance of avoiding behaviors that may promote the initiation or favor the advance of forest fires.
This problem is especially serious in the southeast of the Iberian Peninsula due to the processes of global change that will lead to an increase in time with a high risk of fire, more severe and recurrent droughts, increased torrential precipitation, etc., in addition to the high level of rural abandonment and lack of forest management, coupled with a disengagement of the population, concentrated in the cities, from our forests and agroforestry landscapes.
Therefore, direct action is necessary to improve the state of ecosystems and reduce their vulnerability, implementing preventive management actions through the use of prescribed burns, understood as the controlled use of fire to reduce fuel and break its continuity (both horizontal as vertical) under specific conditions that allow setting the intensity of fire and the amount of vegetable fuel to be eliminated according to a proposed objective.
A series of training activities has been developed by students of the Degree in Forest and Natural Environment Engineering, the Master's Degree in Forest Engineering and the Doctorate in Agricultural and Environmental Sciences of the ETSIAM of Albacete (UCLM) that are complemented with an activity in treatment field of wooded forest areas. The planning, preparation and execution of prescribed burns has been carried out thanks to the work of the Extinction Services of the Castilla-La Mancha Community Board (INFOCAM), staff of the Public Company GEACAM and with the support of the PauCostaFoundation. After the training received, all university and FP students were involved in Forest Management and the Natural Environment of the CIFP Aguas Nuevas (DUAL practices), to execute the burning plan in MUP No. 113 "La Moraleja" in the municipality of Molinicos and Ayna (Albacete)
Finally, these environmental education activities included in both work areas are part of the work of dissemination and dissemination of information and tools, based on scientific knowledge, applicable to preventive management and mitigation of damage from the severity and recurrence of fires, to the assessment of the response of ecosystems and species to different degrees of severity and recurrence and to the restorative activity after them.